Honoring the legacy of Eugene J. Butler
Eugene J. Butler is a household name for many in Jacksonville. Butler was principal of Matthew William Gilbert Junior Senior High School, originally known as the Franklin Street Public School, and a beloved educator in the community.
Our board’s own Dr. Jordan Baker, himself a retired DCPS principal, was a student at Matthew Gilbert when Butler was principal.
“He was a great educator and leader that was able to release the human potential in the school and the community,” Baker said.
Eugene J. Butler Middle School was named one of the 36 schools in the Duval Transformation Office in 2013, and benefits from the Quality Education for All Fund. In the 2014-15 school year, Butler underwent a dramatic transformation, becoming a dedicated magnet with a focus on leadership, and split into two schools-within-a-school. They are known as The Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Eugene J. Butler, and The Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Eugene J. Butler.
Over the last year, the school has thrived, and you can read more about the promising turnaround here.
As the school year approaches, the school board is voting today to officially change the name of the school to The Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Eugene J. Butler, and The Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Eugene J. Butler.
We can’t help but think that Eugene Butler himself would be proud to see the work that students are doing there today.